Monster Fish-A Twentyfourhour Short Story.
The people of Swellgal craned their necks as they peered down the cobblestone street hoping for a glimpse of the monster fish which had almost swallowed little Willie. The top-heavy half timbered houses hovered as though they were also eager to get a peek. The stale smell of sweat hung in the air as if suspended resulting from the many bodies pressed together. The smell was mixed with the pungent smell of animal dung.
Children and chicken skittered about, sounds of clucking and squealing adding to the sounds of excited murmurs.
"Here they come," a child shouted.
Adults and children alike ran forward almost trampling each other in eagerness to see the sight first.
A cart came around the bend pulled by the two strongest horses in the village. No one was interested in the horses. They all wanted to see the fish that had taken about twenty men to kill it. A man was gravely injured, lying on his deathbed as a result of this fight. A hush came over the crowd when it came into view.
It was humongous and downright scary. It was the strangest fish they had ever seen. It was hard to imagine the cute little fish Willie had brought from the forest had turned into the monster before them. It was blood red, dripping greenish blood as the cart rolled down the street. It had white horns on either side of its head, its open mouth revealed sharp evenly arranged white teeth unlike that of any fish ever seen.
No sound was heard as the cart was pulled towards the outskirts of the village towards the forest back to where Willie had found it, escorted by the two strongest men in the village.
Two days ago, the sun had shone brightly on a young mischievious boy of eight as he ran out of his mother's cottage towards the forest. He ignored his mother's call as he whistled along, leaping like a frog.
He was a loner, he claimed the village children were fools, no one could match his level of intelligence according to him.
He ran along the forest, leaves and twigs cracking beneath his feet. He called out greetings to the family of squirrels enjoying a breakfast of nuts.
The birds were not left out as they all responded to his call.
As he rounded a bend, he saw a strange animal. It had beady red eyes and the body was shaped like a bird. His curiosity made him follow the animal when it darted into the forest He ran after it, calling it to wait for him. He followed like a lamb to the slaughter.
Soon they came to a cave, little Willie hesitated for just a few moments before entering. It was dark but as soon as he walked in, it was lighted as if by magic. There were strange drawings on the wall telling stories of people who may have lived there a long time ago.
The ceiling above him was so high and he could only see it because it was glowing. The smell of the place was strange but he liked it. It was so pleasant it was almost intoxicating. He heard some tinkling rushing sound and followed it till he saw the lake.
He opened his mouth in wonder. It was so beautiful with flowers everywhere and they glowed with an inner light.
Water rushed in from different cracks in the cave filling the pool but the level remained steady so he thought the water must drain somewhere. He looked down and saw the water lapping at the sandy edge, a gentle slope into the water. All around him, the walls glowed because of the plants.
For the first time in a long while, Willie became afraid. He remembered the story of the sirens and water spirits his mother told him. He feared if he went close he would be pulled in never to be seen again. He thought of his poor widowed mother. She would die without him.
His curiosity won at the end of the day. He cautiously drew near the edge of the pool and marvelled at the sight that greeted him. Brilliantly coloured fishes swam in the water in a coordinated dance. He watched for a long time and wished he could take one home with him. His eyes were fixed on one little red fish, it was the smallest there.
He remembered the bag he carried all about with him on his little adventures. He had a little jar there. He hurried to get it and scooped up the fish. A wail rose immediately, the cave shook to its foundations. He ran out and headed home heedless of the danger he had brought upon himself.
He found a large container and filled it with water. He watched the frantic swimming movements of the little fish in amusement. He left to find his mother to tell her of his new find.
When he got back, he was shocked to see the fish was twice its size! He was amazed and not in the least afraid.
He noticed the more the fish swam, the bigger it became. Soon the container was too small for it. He carried it and ran to the little pond close to his mother's cottage.
He released the fish into the pond. It was surprising how fast the fish grew. Soon, it grew horns on either side of its head.
At this point, Willie was horrified and called for help.
The fight to kill the monster fish lasted for hours but the men of Swellgal prevailed.
I would like to tell you that little Willie never entered the forest after what happened. He became well behaved and always listened to his mother. He is still stubborn and mischievious. He would never learn his lesson!
Written for twentyfourhourshortstory writing contest
This is way past the deadline and i apologise for submitting this late.